Local job readiness program ROP graduates another 44 students

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Local job readiness program ROP graduates another 44 students
From left to right: Mike Joyce, Operations Trainer, John Ghiringelli, Maintenance Trainer, Jeff Brauning, Contra Costa County Office of Education (ROP Principal for West Contra Costa USD).

Mike Joyce has come full circle.

On Tuesday, a full 40 years after taking part in the very first Richmond Occupational Program (ROP) class, Joyce spoke before the newest 44 graduates of the free, award-winning job training program that prepares local residents for high-paying careers in industrial facilities.

“John and I are proof that this works – we came up through this program too,” said Joyce, whose participation in the ROP program led to a successful career at Chevron.

Now a trainer in the program, Joyce joined fellow trainer John Ghiringelli and Jeff Brauning from the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) in speaking to the latest ROP graduates at the Chevron Rod and Gun Club Tuesday.

The graduates are beneficiaries of a free program funded by Chevron Richmond in partnership with CCCOE. The intensive, 9-week program offered twice annually to the local community has a proven track record in teaching technical skills such as mechanics, mathematics and chemistry, along with communication and analytical skills, safety practices and how to work independently and as part of a team. Interview training is also part of the program.

For the latest graduates, classes began in January for the Process Plant Operator (PPO) and Industrial Maintenance Mechanic (IMM) programs. Courses are offered in the afternoons or evenings four days per week at the Chevron Hensley Campus in Richmond.

The PPO course prepares students for entry level jobs operating refinery equipment, such as heating, lubrication and refining systems. The IMM program prepares students for entry level maintenance/mechanic jobs, such as welder/pipefitter, electrician and machinist.

For Joyce, who trains students in the PPO program, his ROP education led to “the best job ever” at Chevron, which when he was joined was called Standard Oil of California. It’s a reason he became a trainer — to give back to future generations of ROP graduates.

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